The first one is always the hardest

On the first of December I sent out my first newsletter, and it really was a tad scary. So much so I pondered not even sharing this blog post. But that would just be silly, as you’ll also conclude when you read on.

So here is, my first newsletter content (slightly altered for the blog format) as the last blog of 2020! And if you want to receive the newsletter in your inbox, do sign up here.

Why is it that the first time we do something is always the hardest?

It’s self preservation, really.

To play it safe, to stay where we know the environment, where the dangers that exist are familiar and we manage the fears and experiences with ease was a fundamental human need. In primal times we needed to blend in, belong to our tribe, and being ridiculed would most probably mean death.

No, seriously. Ridiculed, marginalised individuals would not benefit from the safety and security of the group and would most probably be ostracised and left to starve/freeze or to be attacked by wild animals. So our brains learned to blend in, to make us lovable, and by default, needed.

That primal brain is still with us. Even though we are no longer in mortal danger if we do become extraordinary (out of the ordinary, so unusual as to be remarkable, according to Webster’s dictionary!), we are still terrified of the unknown. And that, my friend, is completely normal!

So, doing something for the first time, that element of not knowing what exactly we are doing, the outcome, all the variables that come with and from it, is a scary and hard thing.
That’s valid for starting your own business, writing my first blogpost, and also, being in front of an audience telling a story for the first time!

Believe me: Fear of Public Speaking is the number one fear! It trumps the fear of death, believe it or not. So you. are. not. alone.

You are not alone in your fear, and you are not alone facing it. I am here for you, to help you brave it and come out the other way a better communicator!

The good thing about all of that is, once you’ve conquered that fear, once you brave that emotional and psychological wilderness, well, then, there’s no stopping you. The learning curve is steep, and at the end of the road all you have waiting for you is the growth and fulfilment of getting yet another “thing” done and another skill learned. And for me, to witness you flourish, bloom and become a more confident self, is just the greatest joy!

Flatlay of notebooks, pencils, pens and a cup of coffee

But how do I actually “brave that emotional and psychological wilderness”, Tânia?

Well, I’m glad you ask. You prepare. You study and research and get ready.

Back in those primitive times, the group would not move before sending a few scouts to see if the new terrain would allow the group to survive. Would there be enough food, water, shelter? Would the new place be worth it?

For us now, it’s the same. We rely on the knowledge (and hope) that facing that fear and doing that thing for the first time will bring us joy or self improvement. And so we prepare.

If you are planning a talk/presentation in front of an audience, you select your theme, you research it, write down the ideas, the topics you’ll cover, and then you practice, you come up with a joke here, a question there, where to pause and ask for audience participation. And when the time comes, you are ready.

If you want to design an online course, you not only do the above but you also research the best equipment to do it with, where to host your course, you learn how to film, how to edit, how to do it all in the most engaging way.

And when you don’t know, when it all seems a bit too much, you ask for help.

And that’s where I’ll be waiting for you, with a smile on my face, arms wide open and a safe space for us to grow and reach that goal you have.

Because if I can write my first newsletter, fearing no one would read it, or worse, that it wouldn’t resonate and I’d be mocked for it, then you can also have the courage to become all you can, all you want.

I trust you. And hope you trust me.

See you soon!

Tânia

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